mac mini late 2012 HDD upgrade strategy with new 1 GB SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by volcanic, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. volcanic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #1
    I just ordered a Crucial MX200 1GB SSD on a daily deal at Amazon for $280. Now I am confusing myself deciding how to install it in my late 2012 Mini which currently has a 512 GB spinning disk HDD. Would appreciate any advice.

    option 1: remove 512, replace with 1GB SSD (easiest installation, fastest speeds, lowest power consumption and heat). As additional storage needed, add external multi TB HDD.

    option 2: buy OWC data doubler kit and install 1GB SSD with existing 512 GB drive, reformat as fusion drive, (+$30 for kit, more complicated installation)

    option 3: buy OWC data doubler kit and buy new 1GB HDD and install with 1 GB SSD as fusion drive for total 2tb internal (+$100 = $30 kit and $70 WD red 1TB drive)

    I have an intrinsic compulsion to maximize the internal storage... and also not to just discard a current working 512 GB drive..... but have read that the fusion drives are slower than SSD (and marginally more failure prone and energy consumptive due to spinning disk ?) so I should just leave it as pure SSD internally. However I pause on what to do with existing 512 GB drive since buying enclosure to use existing 512 K drive seems hardly more efficient than just buying new multi TB external drive since they're so cheap these days. But if I'm doing the job of installing the data doubler kit then I think I should use a new 1 TB HDD instead of the old 512. And so I go round and round in a circle.

    Any thoughts to get me back on a straight line ?
     
  2. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    Install the SSD, use the factory as secondary internal storage.
     
  3. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    I would think that the LAST THING you want to do with a speedy 1tb SSD is to hobble it in a "fusion drive" setup.

    Install the SSD into the Mini along with the HDD, and run them as "standalone" drives.

    Another option:
    Swap the HDD for the SSD.
    Then take the HDD and put it into a USB3 external enclosure.
    Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a bootable cloned backup of the SSD...
     
  5. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #5
    I vote to get the data doubler and install the SSD along side the original drive. I did just that with my Mini. WATCH THE VIDEO, be absolutely sure you are comfortable doing the drive install before you decide. There are some parts that you need to be VERY careful with but it's an otherwise fairly easy job to do. Mine took me about 30-45 minutes, though I am a computer tech by trade I had never opened a Mac Mini before.

    I have my SSD as the boot/OS drive, the original drive is a "scratch" disk, kind of a buffer to the USB 3.0 external 4-drive enclosure.
     
  6. Cbdboz macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #6

    After seeing the OP I checked Amazon and bought 2 of the 500g drives.... 1 for my 2012 Mac mini and 1 for my 9.1 iMac.

    What is data doubler? I have just bought a 3.5-2.5 converter bracket from new tech .... Do I just use this if replacing the hd or an I use this if installing ssd alongside hd???

    Are there any guides as to how to transfer OS to ssd and make it a boot drive???

    And finally....would I get the same new tech converter bracket for my iMac???

    Thanks in advance... ;)
     
  7. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #7
    OWC 'Data Doubler' 2.5" Hard Drive/SSD Installation... in stock at OWC
    Mac mini Dual Drive Kit (922-9560, 076-1391) - iFixit

    Those are for the Mini and only 2 examples, I used the iFixit kit. It allows you to add the second drive as it includes the mounting hardware that's not already installed in the Mini. The bracket is there, you just need the cable, grommets and "pins" from the kit.

    As for how to do it. Some will suggest using Carbon Copy Cloner to just clone your drive over. You can also install a fresh OS on the new drive then use Migration Assistant (part of the setup process, you get prompted) to transfer all of your apps and data over. I chose the MA option when I replaced the HDD in my MBP with an SSD and it really did end up like almost exactly the same computer.
     
  8. volcanic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #8
    There are tons of "how to" videos on the other world computing web site which is www.macsales.com
     
  9. volcanic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #9
    I think my conclusion is to just replace the existing 512K drive with the new 1GB SSD. An easier installation than putting in both drives, less to disassemble in the mini, less chance of breaking something, less heat, energy consumption. Maybe down the road if I see another deal I would put in a second 1GB SSD.

    I see there are some $10 2.5" drive enclosures at Amazon so I'll put it the old 512 drive in one of those and use it as additional storage/ backup for my 128 GB Macbook Pro when I'm traveling.

    Any other opinions feel free to chime in.
     
  10. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #10
    It's ice harder to do on 2010 and newer.
    I recommend you take it to a shop.
     
  11. volcanic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #11
    Hi, thanks, I was unfamiliar with the concept of a scratch disk and from what I have read online now, it is mostly useful for video and hi-res photo editing? If I'm missing something in that concept let me know. Thanks.
     
  12. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #12
    Yikes.
     
  13. Algus macrumors regular

    Algus

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Arizona
    #13
    I'm not very tech savvy. I watched the video many times and thought "I can do this" but the actual operation was much different than I thought. The parts are a lot smaller than you will see in the video. I've got big hands so the work was very awkward and clumsy for me. Allow yourself an adequate work bench.

    Make sure you identify your drive's physical location on the machine. I actually had to buy a second set of tools because my drive was in the bottom bay (underneath the mainboard) whereas the basic kit and video assume your factory drive is in the top bay.

    It is actually easier to install in the top bay because you don't have to completely remove the logic board to drop it in.

    I don't run fusion, the 960 GB SSD is my primary drive now and I use the old factory drive (which I wiped after backing up crucial data) for data storage. I created a boot drive on a USB and did a fresh install that way rather than messing with clone drives, etc.

    It was a great upgrade. Speeds don't quite compare to my 2014 rMBP but still substantially faster.
     
  14. volcanic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #14
    lol, yes, oops, gb.

     
  15. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #15
    You have them confused. When you look in Disk Utility and see a drive marked as "top bay" or "upper" it's the one that requires removal of the mainboard to access. When doing the drive swap the system is inverted so it can be confusing.
     

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